Coming up with the name of this site pretty much sums up my inquiry wonderings. How do I find a name that encompasses ALL that I’m aiming for in my teaching practice? How do I reflect my values of inclusion, diversity, growth mindset, unlimited potential, and mental health?
I brainstormed and came up with about 15 different names, but many of those names were not appropriate for my goals, one of which is to appeal to my students. It’s my hope that I’ll be able to use this website as a resource for my practicum and beyond. I intend to build a class portal that students can use to create their own blog and to share information with parents.
Having worked in branding for the 10 year prior to entering the teacher education program, I know that names are important. They can help create unity or separation. They have subtle influences on people. I wanted a name that would truly speak to my values.
The word ‘circle’ swirled around in my head.
Circles are inclusive: they expand easily to fit new members. They are cyclical, like learning. They have an internal energy to them that signifies growth and potential.
And circle learning is a way of teaching that I am very keen to learn more about and implement in the classroom.
I was introduced to circle pedagogy by Miriam Miller in 2019, in my first year in the teacher program. It was a life-changing experience. We did a round where we shared our hopes for the program, and another round where we shared how we wanted to feel in the program, and another round for what we would need in order to feel that way or achieve our hopes for the program. It created an immediate sense of community in our cohort.
In the end, I chose Circle Learning. However, I wanted to personalize it somehow. I wanted something that my future students could own. I didn’t want to be the owner of a website, but to co-own the website with my class. In the end, I chose Our Learning Circle to convey the idea that we create the circle of learning together.